Since the pandemic started, more people are spending time at home, and as such, home improvement projects are becoming more of a thing with homeowners in Berks County. Not only are homeowners interested in raising their property value, but for their own comfort and enjoyment.

If you plan on remodeling your home on your own, you need to think about the electrical and plumbing in your home. It's one thing to watch YouTube videos about how to lay tile, but it's quite another thing to work on electrical and plumbing.

Assessing the risks

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that working on electrical systems is dangerous work. In fact, electrical malfunctions are listed by the U.S. Fire Administration as one of the top causes of house fires.

There are many dangerous things that could go wrong when doing an electrical rewire, including electrocution, shock and fires. Some of your appliances run on higher voltages, which makes it more dangerous.

Another risk is if you install faulty wiring due to inexperience. It's an issue that could go undetected for years, fooling you into thinking you did the job right. And then a fire breaks out. 51,000 fires a year in the US happen this way, leaving 1.3 billion dollars in damage.

Doing electrical work is not something you can learn to do with a YouTube video. Licenced electricians complete 600 hours of instruction that cover safety, electrical circuits, and blueprint reading, followed by supervised, on-the-job training. All of that training is necessary to not only protect them, but the people that will be using the buildings that they perform electrical work in.

DIY plumbing problems

Plumbing is also not a project for beginners. Doing your own plumbing repairs runs the risk of making the problem worse. Even a simple repair gone wrong can cause serious issues. It may start out with something like a leaking pipe that eventually causes water damage. Or worse, it could be a burst pipe that is more serious. Either way, you run the risk of not only failing to take care of the original plumbing issue, but causing more problems that you’re unable to address properly

Is it legal?

If you do want to tackle your plumbing or electrical, you’ll want to make sure you know what’s required first. In both cases, you may need to obtain a permit. Make sure you call your local permit office to make sure you're following the rules.

While it may seem tempting to skip the permit process to save time and money, doing so could backfire. It may be time consuming and frustrating to get a permit, and many homeowners skip doing so as a result. Yet if you do so, it could complicate selling your home later. During the home inspection or appraisal process, homeowners may have to show that the proper permits are on file. If the lending bank learns that remodeling work was done without securing permits, it will likely not make the loan.

Visit our blog every week for more real estate articles and local Berks County articles. We can help you find the perfect home for sale in Reading and the surrounding communities of Blandon, Boyertown, Douglassville, Exeter Township, Fleetwood, Kutztown, and Oley with our powerful property search tool.